People support and respect brands they trust and that instill pride and reflect their own values. Reputation influences nearly every corner of this campus, from admissions to faculty recruitment to merchandise sales to alumni participation to fundraising.
The University of Maryland's brand is unique and recognizable and embodies excellence in academics and research, arts and athletics.
A strong and consistent central brand lends instant credibility and brand association to every part of campus. For programs, units, initiatives, faculty and students alike, being associated with the University of Maryland conveys integrity and distinction.
We take our reputation seriously. It's strong and we want to make it even stronger. That's why it is critical to support, respect and enhance the central brand. That's why it's also critical to align sub-brands under the powerful university brand.
Imagine you're in the market for a new car. You see a television commercial that drives you to a website, which then drives you to a showroom, where you pick up a brochure. But imagine that all four of these marketing touch points (TV spot, website, showroom and brochure) are different. They look different and have different fonts, logos, visuals, messaging, colors and tone. How would you feel about that car?
The principles are the same for the University of Maryland. Without consistency in how we present ourselves to the world, we will never advance the brand of our university. Consistency leads to recognition, which leads to trust and confidence, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty. That's what we all want.
Through a coordinated and broad marketing and communications strategy, UMD's primary goals and objectives include:
• Elevating the university's academic and research reputation
• Recruiting and admitting the best high school graduates in and out of the state of Maryland
• Driving alumni engagement and participation
For a university as large and comprehensive as UMD, our target audiences are just as diverse. But our primary audiences include:
• Alumni and friends
• High-achieving high school students
• The campus community
• State and local legislators and other elected officials
A successful brand must be memorable, flexible enough to be adaptable to multiple uses across a broad campus and unique to Maryland. It must also strongly convey our mission and our voice.
Fear the Turtle
Since the Terps' run to the men's basketball team's 2002 national championship, "Fear the Turtle" has served as a rallying cry and point of pride for students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends. It has become a beloved and recognized part of the University of Maryland, emblazoned on T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers—frequently copied and imitated, never equaled. "Fear the Turtle" remains an essential component of the university's brand.
We believe that ideas lie at the heart of innovation and entrepreneurship, the heart of anything worthwhile. Ideas can be inspired by our faculty, our alumni or our students. UMD is dedicated to turning ideas into impact, to make them fearless. UMD believes in the power of fearless ideas to change our world.
Our brand platform allows us to talk about the strengths of our university:
• Research: Fearless ideas spark quantum advances
• Innovation: Fearless ideas ignite bold invention
• Advocacy: Fearless ideas inspire social change
• Entrepreneurship: Fearless ideas launch daring ventures
• Students and faculty: Fearless ideas drive passionate leaders
The Fearless Ideas platform is compelling, provides UMD with distinctive positioning and is flexible enough to be used throughout campus.
The University of Maryland is fearless. To create distinction in the marketplace and forge a unique identity for our university, a clear and distinguishing voice has been developed. It is woven throughout all creative elements of this campaign. It is best encapsulated in our "manifesto"—a bold declaration of who we are:
Here, great gets greater. Theory becomes practice. Thinking turns into doing. Power becomes action. We're not satisfied with beginnings. We need to set things in motion. Start movements. Shift behavior. Break new ground. Step forward. Challenge convention. Jump in. Stir the pot. See things others miss. Enter through different doors. Embrace impossible. Raise expectations. Build communities. Move boundaries.
We are provocateurs. Perfectionists. Entrepreneurs. Curious. Empathetic. Active. And hungry. We have a mighty spirit inside that will not be denied.
Let us stand together and chart our course. Let us capture imaginations. Allow the world to see our genius, our talent, our heritage, our future. We are the University of Maryland. Fear the Turtle.
There is no single message, no pithy tagline that can encompass the breadth of a university as broad and diverse as University of Maryland. Messages should be tailored to audience whenever possible. That said, simplicity and consistency of message are of paramount importance. The following seven messaging priorities represent the main themes of the brand campaign. They represent the sweet spot of intersection between university excellence and topics of broad appeal to our target audiences:
• The University of Maryland inspires, supports and promotes entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation among faculty, staff and students
• The only public research university inside the Beltway, the University of Maryland is uniquely positioned to develop strategic partnerships with the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, the Smithsonian and other national institutions that provide unparalleled opportunities for faculty and students.
• The University of Maryland is a leader in research into climate, energy and sustainability issues of all kinds, including the development of alternative fuels and the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay.
• The University of Maryland is committed to providing the best possible student experience, including out-of-classroom opportunities, living and learning environments, and study abroad programs to empower students to make a global impact.
• Across several colleges, schools and departments, the University of Maryland is a leader in all areas of public health, including child development, health equity and bioengineering.
• With its strategic partnerships with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and others, the University of Maryland is a global leader in national security, including language, cybersecurity, terrorism and public policy.
• The University of Maryland is a culturally diverse community that embraces a broad range of programs, students and initiatives, including robust and innovative arts and athletics programs.
These messaging areas create an inclusive umbrella able to accommodate a wide variety of messages. This helps keep the campaign fresh and timely.
All creative elements should clearly convey the university's unique positioning statement and key messaging priorities. Specifically, communications materials should:
• Demonstrate student and faculty impact on issues facing society
• Demonstrate student engagement out of the classroom
• Demonstrate unique and high-level partnerships and opportunities due to our proximity to Washington, D.C.
• Tell our story in a distinctive and entertaining voice
• Evoke an emotional response